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Cult or different point of view?

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posted on Jan, 22 2009 @ 03:39 PM
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I have seen many threads and posts about calling religions "cults". These range from "all religions are cults" to just plain "they are a cult. Can anyone really define the word cult? To me it seems that people throw this term out there whenever there is a religion that is not their own. And before you start with throwing the term brainwashing in there i also ask you to define brainwashing. With the dictionary the term cult can be applied to religion,ATS,USA and the golden girls fanclub. But to date i have only seen cult and brainwashing used in slander matches. So what are your thoughts? What is a cult?

[edit on by YoungStalin]




posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 12:34 PM
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In modern usage, it does only seem to refer to a religions/belief systems etc. that are considered 'outside the norm'. Extremist religious groups and the like. I suppose fictional depictions of 'cults' with whackjob leaders and unthinkingly devoted, usually brainwashed followers have only added to this definition of what a 'cult' is.

In my mind, if we go by this view of what a cult is, then all religions are cults. For instance, if I think of my upbringing; attending Sunday mass at a Catholic church. The congregation standing and sitting mindlessly as one, reciting The Creed and the Our Father without any real conscious thought...If that sort of behaviour is not the result of 'brainwashing', than I don't know what is. I'm not necessarily saying there is true, intentional malice in this conditioning but I don't see how it's any different from a so-called 'cult' leader making his/her followers do exactly what they request.

In church, you even give money in for the church's use; would I be wrong in saying that many 'cults' are said to ask members to give up large amounts of money to their cult for various reasons?

This is not an attack on the Catholic church- though, personally, I find organised religion ridiculous and I am a staunch and lifelong Atheist; perhaps I may be somewhat bias, no?-, more, I am using the religion I have the most knowledge of as an example.

So, after that long-winded nonsense, I suppose that I personally believe a cult is any organised religion with a figurehead(s) and specific rites/ceremonies. Looking at it objectively, I fail to see how one could differentiate between a so-called cult and a Christian denomination, such as Catholicism or the Anglican church. I just think it's a word used by members of 'proper' religions to distance them from more extreme/unusual belief systems, which they might be uncomfortable with, when really they're one and the same in a multitude of ways.



posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 11:36 PM
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I think in the loosest sense it refers to any body of belief and then the meaning is refined according to context. It is often used to indicate an element of unreason involved in certain beliefs as if the believers have been manipulated in some way.



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 01:15 PM
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Okay this makes sense to me now why you had such an issue with me saying the word cult about members of CoS..

Look man.. I have no beef with people that want to belive what they wish.

And no a cult is not a cult just becasue someone else views that at a different point.

I feel a cult is any group of people who gather in a religious sense.. But it can reach past religion. So Im not going to put all the pressure on just faiths..

Altho some people would rather be called Covens..

So to me.. You can have UFO cults. You can have World of Warcraft cults.

Cults to me are groups of people who take anything to the extream!!

Yes cults are the extream side to any group.. Who shun others out who don't feel the way they do..

So very polar of what you said in your Opening post. You had noted that those on the outside consider anyone who feel a sertin way to be a cult.
But there are many open groups in this world that are not cults..

You become a cult, when you start closing yourself off from the world.
And start doing things in secert..
Then you earn yourself the title of a cult.

Here is a video that might help you understand how cults work.




[edit on 29-1-2009 by zysin5]



posted on Jan, 29 2009 @ 02:31 PM
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reply to post by zysin5
 


Zysin - Kudos to you for posting those videos, they are very important short films and I suspect the world would be a far better place if they were mandatory viewing for everyone.
Mighty fine post



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